Two games today. Both games with deeply-seated rivalries. What could go wrong? What could go right? Heck, it made for some great hockey!
Sweden vs. Finland
7am (EST). A rematch of the 2006 gold medal game when Sweden won.
It was Finland who struck blood first, though it wasn’t until the second period. Olli Jokinen scored just over six minutes into the period to take the Finns up 1-0. It did not last long.
Five minutes later, Loui Eriksson scored, getting assists from Nicklas Backstrom and Jonathan Ericsson. Just before Eriksson’s goal, Niklas Kronwall had an excellent defensive play in Sweden’s end, breaking up a three-on-two chance for Finland.
A power play goal from Erik Karlsson with under four to go in the second period gave Sweden a 2-1 lead and a defensively-tight team kept their game at a high pace. Sweden held on to a 2-1 victory.
And your tears of joy/happiness/sweetness via Twitter:
Nicklas Kronwall on Henrik Zetterberg: “He can’t be here physically but it feels like he’s here mentally.”
— Chris Johnston (@reporterchris) February 21, 2014
Side-note, Red Wings-related: Henrik Zetterberg underwent successful back surgery today and will be out for 7-8 weeks. If/when the Red Wings make the playoffs, we could see Zetterberg back in the first round.
USA vs. Canada
Tensions were high even before the game started. With the ridiculousness of the USA/Canada women’s gold medal game yesterday, it isn’t any wonder than fans were already throwing tweets back and forth. To the game…
Canada got the first power play chance eleven minutes into the first period. USA had one a few minutes later, but neither team scored. The first period was high paced, intense, and both teams looked a little too wound up–that is, completely hopped up on nerves and probably sugar. Team Canada melded together, finally looking like a superstar team rather than a team of really good players. Team USA looked as cohesive as ever, though their power play left something to be desired.
Power players were traded yet again in the second period, but nothing came of any of it. Quick had an amazing, sprawling glove save on Benn with minutes to go in the second period, and minutes before that Patrick Kane had a great chance against Carey Price. The period ended, Canada still with the lead.
The third period began, time seeming to not move. Team USA looked a little lost, trying to find their way. Canada had some good chances a few minutes in, Quick thinking he had a shot when it dribbled out to the side; Sidney Crosby shot it wide of the open net.
Chris Kunitz had several really good chances in a row; USA got into the habit of blocking shots, which was probably good, considering all of the chances Canada had. And with six minutes to go and Canada still up 1-0, Kunitz had another great chance that could have almost sealed the game for Canada, but it did not happen.
With a Canada two-on-one with just over two minutes to go, John Carlson made a great defensive play and completely eliminated that chance. But despite being able to keep their deficit to one, the USA could not generate any sort of offense, barely any sort of offensive pressure.
Canada won 1-0, giving Price the shutout and the USA the chance to get a bronze medal. Sunday’s game is the 2010 gold medalists against the 2006 gold medalists.
Sweden 2, Finland 1
USA 0, Canada 1
Bronze Medal Game
Finland vs. USA, 10am Saturday
Gold Medal Game
Sweden vs. Canada, 7am Sunday
Some of us have the misfortune of their last shift at a particular coffee shop falling on Sunday morning. Phones will be off and the game shall be recorded so I can watch when I get home and not be spoiled to the outcome. Hopefully customers don’t come in and tell me what’s going on.
Who will you root for?